The Madman’s Daughter by Megan Shepherd
Sixteen-year-old Juliet Moreau has built a life for herself in London—working as a maid, attending church on Sundays, and trying not to think about the scandal that ruined her life. After all, no one ever proved the rumors about her father’s gruesome experiments. But when she learns he is alive and continuing his work on a remote tropical island, she is determined to find out if the accusations are true.
Accompanied by her father’s handsome young assistant, Montgomery, and an enigmatic castaway, Edward—both of whom she is deeply drawn to—Juliet travels to the island, only to discover the depths of her father’s madness: He has experimented on animals so that they resemble, speak, and behave as humans. And worse, one of the creatures has turned violent and is killing the island’s inhabitants. Torn between horror and scientific curiosity, Juliet knows she must end her father’s dangerous experiments and escape her jungle prison before it’s too late. Yet as the island falls into chaos, she discovers the extent of her father’s genius—and madness—in her own blood.
Juliet is a smart and strong young woman, forced into a life of servitude after her father flees in disgrace. My favorite scene in the book is when Juliet comes upon a group of college students performing a vivisection on rabbit. She’s horrified at what they’re doing, and shocked when she realizes they’re using her father’s notes. But she shows tremendous strength and boldness when she suddenly puts the rabbit out of its misery when the other can only stand in shock. It’s a violent and moving scene that sets the mood for the rest of the story.
First in a new trilogy based on classic horror novels, The Madman’s Daughter is a fascinating twist on H. G. Wells’s The Island of Dr. Moreau. Loaded with suspense, mystery, and vibrant characters, this gothic horror fan was thoroughly impressed. Dark and thrilling, this science fiction was completely engaging and impossible to put down.
The Madman’s Daughter releases from Balzer + Bray/Harper Teen on January 29, 2013.